After not being able to play since last March due to the pandemic, Cal Poly Baseball and Softball will return to action for the 2021 season.

On Friday, Jan. 29 the Big West Conference announced the return to play and scheduling protocols for baseball, softball, men’s volleyball and women’s water polo. 

“The Big West is excited to take the next step toward spring competition,” Big West Commissioner Dan Butterly said in the press release. “Our focus remains on the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and we will continue to evaluate the pandemic’s effect on our ability to provide a safe environment for competition.”

The scheduling format for baseball will consist of a four-game weekend series against each conference opponent. 

Teams are allowed to schedule their own non-conference games before the Big West schedule, but they must play one opponent per week once conference play starts, according to the press release. 

Butterly also said that the changes in the scheduling format were reflective of the decisions that Big West administrators, coaches, and staff felt were necessary due to the ongoing pandemic. 

“Bottom line it just gave [the coaches] in our minds, the best percentage of getting the maximum number of games in while being safe in doing so,” Cal Poly Baseball head coach Larry Lee said. “We’re just happy that at this point we’re going to have a regular 56 game schedule.”

For softball, their schedule will consist of a three-game weekend series with the option of adding a fourth game to the series, but it would be considered a non-conference game. 

Big West Conference baseball and softball are scheduled to begin on March 19, with softball ending on May 15 and baseball ending on May 29. Both the baseball and softball teams are also prohibited from playing midweek competition during the conference season. 

“For some of [the players] their time is running out and they had the carpet pulled out from under their feet last year, so at least it’s starting to become more clear what the season will look like,” Lee said.

Cal Poly Softball opens its pre-conference schedule in a doubleheader at Loyola Marymount on Friday, Feb. 12. Cal Poly Baseball will have their season opener on Friday, Feb. 19 against Nevada inside Baggett Stadium.

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